The Corner

Doing The Numbers

A reader sent me the following. He made every number a link to his source. I will not be spending the next fifteen minutes coding each one. But take my word for it, he seems to have done his due dilligence:

I hate to ruin “numbers too good to be checked” with internet-verified facts (if it ain’t on the internet, it ain’t the truth!), but here’s the real scoop, all documented with semi-reliable citations. And don’t despair! The end result is even better than letting the original numbers go unchallenged.

a. The population of this country is 281 million.

b. 40 million are retired and disabled, leaving 241 million to do the work.

c. There are 72 million children, which leaves 169 million to do the work.

d. There are 15 million in college, leaving 154 million to do the work.

e. Of this there are 4.21 million employed by the federal government, including military and post office employees, leaving 149.79 million to do the work.

f. Take from the total the 18.6 million people who work for state and city governments, and that leaves 131.19 million to do the work.

g. There are 2 million people in prisons.

So relax, Jonah. This still leaves 129.19 million diligent citizens, plus an increasing number of “undocumented workers,” plus your Couch, to get everything done. Not only are you underworked — you’re totally superfluous! Take a break, for God’s sake.

Your loyal fan,



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